I was recently contacted by the people representing Quirk Publishers and asked if I would like to review a new cookbook, The Cookiepedia, by Stacy Adimando. I didn't have to be asked twice! I love cookbooks and I love cookbooks that are about baking even more . . . and I love cookie cookbooks MOST of all!!
True to their word it was pushed through my mailbox just a day later. I was surprised! It arrived very quickly. I couldn't wait to get stuck in.
At first glance it's a very attractive little book, with a delightfully whimsical cover. It almost reminded me of the paper bags I used to bring my lunches to school in, except much prettier! I love the colours and the way it feels in my hands. Plus it has a lovely sturdy wire lie flat binding, which I really liked. I hate it when I am using a cookery book and it keeps closing on me.
It's also chockerblock full of beautiful hand-drawn illustrations which spoke to the artist in me, lovely photographs which spoke to the glutton in me, and most important of all . . . very scrummy looking recipes! They've even made provisions for you to add your own notes to the various recipes, enabling you to make them your very own.
It's deliciously divided into sections:
- The ABC's of Cookie Baking
- Buttery Cookies
- Chocolaty Cookies
- Fancy Cookies
- Fruity Cookies
- Spicy Cookies
- Nutty and Seedy Cookies
I finally chose Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies. These were humongous and included . . . well . . . everything but the kitchen sink!! It looked like a fabulously tasty way to use up some little bits and bobs that I had in my larder, that were not enough, in measure, to make anything on their own with, but were just perfect for this recipe! After reading the list of the author's add ins, I was sorely tempted to go out and buy a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos because they sounded, oddly enough, like an incredible addition . . . but I resisted temptation and stuck with what I already had on hand.
I was so very pleased with the results. You can see what I used as my sweet and savoury add ins at the bottom of this post. I ended up with more than one and a half dozen moreishly scrummy cookies that are almost too dangerous to have around.
The author is Stacy Adimando, who is the current deputy lifestyle editor or Everyday with Rachael Ray, and is also a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education and a weekly contributor to Serious Eats. All in all I think she should be very proud of this first book of hers. I, for one, love it and I am sure it will be very popular with anyone who loves baking cookies and is looking for something that is at once familiar and yet at the same time quirkily different. This book has immediately been placed in the section of favourites in my vast cookbook collection.
In short I highly recommend! Many thanks to Mat at PGUK and Quirk Publishers for affording me this wonderful opportunity, and also to Stacy Adimando for having written a beautifully tasty book, full stop!
Available for purchase at most booksellers, both online and off.
*Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies*
Makes a dozen and a half very large cookies
What can I say . . . very moreish!!
8 ounces of unsalted butter at room temperature (1 cup)
7 ounces caster sugar (1 cup)
3 3/4 ounces soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
1 large free range egg, plus 1 egg white
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 1/2 ounces plain flour (2 cups)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine sea salt (1 tsp kosher)
1 cup of your favourite sweet add ins (peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, sultanas, coconut flakes etc.)
1 1/2 cups of your favourite salty snacks (corn chips, tortilla chips, potato chips, pretzels, peanuts, etc.)
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 6. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the eggs and continue to beat until well combined on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as need be.
Whisk together the soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Add to the wet ingredients in two batches, mixing well each time to fully incorporate.
Pour your sweet mix ins into the bowl. Break up the salty snacks as necessary and dump those in as well. Use a spatula to mix all together. (It should like quite full of bits, but that is a good thing!)
Drop by 2 heaping tablespoonsful onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each one. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time, for about 16 to 19 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Other tasty add ins:
Honey roasted nuts
whole espresso beans
white chocolate chips
asian snack mix
cool ranch doritos
salted corn nuts
chocolate covered peanuts
What I used:
white chocolate chips
salted potato chips
salted macadamia and cashew nut mix